DID SOMEONE CALL FOR A VOCALIST? Here we go..
Tamia Marilyn Washington Hill has wowed R&B fans with her angelic vocals for 20 years. I think I was in the first grade when I first heard Spend My Life With You. Eric Benet is from my hometown Milwaukee, WI so I already knew who he was. When I heard Tamia’s part, I was like wow who was she? Tamia has an unforgettable voice. It sounds like she has a voice made for gospel music..but clearly she has found a home in the world of R&B.
Premiering on her mentor Quincy Jones’ “Q’s Jook Album,” Tamia impressed the world with her remarkable cover of You Put A Move On My Heart, Slow Jams and a song called Missing You..which was on the Set It Off Soundtrack!
My favorite Tamia live perfromance! She’s singing w/ the great James Ingram at Motown Live.
My favorite Tamia cover! SHE DID THAT.
Over the next 20 years, Tamia blessed us with incredible jams like So Into You, Stranger In My House, Offically Missin You, Spend My Life With You (Eric Benét’s song,) Can’t Get Enough, Beautiful Surprise and Sandwich & A Soda. Tamia is definitely one of the most underrated musicians ever, and this post is dedicated to her..& to show appreciation for her contributions to the world of R&B.
Tamia – 1998
Highlights: So Into You, You Put A Move On My Heart, Careless Whisper, Rain On Me, Falling For You, Gotta Move On
After premiering on Quincy Jones’ album, Tamia’s debut album finally was released in 1998. With help from R&B vets Jermaine Dupri, Tricky Stewart, Mario Winans, and countless others..“Tamia” is an urban soul affair. Her covers of George Michael’s Careless Whisper & Mica Paris’ “You Put A Move On My Heart,” showcases how strong her vocals are.
It’s like laying peacefully in a spa & hearing a soothing voice sing to you. Whew. Tamia’s signature song So Into You rests here, and it makes the album so eventful.
A Nu Day – 2000
Highlights: Dear John, Stranger In My House, Love Me In A Special Way, Can’t Go For That, Long Distance Love, Un’h To You, Tell Me Who.
For her second album, Tamia moved to the Elektra label (which allowed her to release her albums in a shorter period of time! A Nu Day is her best selling album to date, and one of my favorites as a whole. Tamia begins A Nu Day with an interlude to her biggest single Stranger In My House..it is stripped down and so beautifully sung. She then transitions into the break-up bop Dear John, and a few more bops.
A major producer on this album was the legendary Missy Elliott. Her production brought something out of Tamia for this album that I love so much. It’s replay value is on 100, because I listen to it almost everyday and never get tired of listening to it! Tamia’s cover of DeBarge’s Love Me In A Special Way is so beautifully done. When she said “Oh, now I have to go there,” I knew she meant business.
A Nu Day established Tamia as one of the best R&B divas out during the time.
More – 2004
Highlights: On My Way, Offically Missing You, Questions, Whispers, Into You, Smile, Poetry
Tamia had a great year when Fabolous sampled her hit single “So Into You” for his song Into You. So it was only right to give us “MORE.”
More is a beautiful album, that you can play at a beach BBQ! With the R. Kelly produced Questions, the immaculate Offically Missing You & the cover of The Carpenters hit (They Long to Be) Close To You featuring the late Gerald Levert..Tamia gives us stronger vocal capabilities as she transitions from one album to the next, & gives us the R&B pop sound you wish your fave could give you!
Between Friends – 2006
Highlights: Can’t Get Enough, Me, The Way I Love You, Happy, Daydreamin, Please Protect My Heart, Have To Go Through It
Tamia’s first release on her own label, Between Friends seems like her first personal record. Before Beyoncé & Mariah Carey featured their children on their albums, Tamia graced us with a conversation between her & her daughter at the end of Happy. Getting to married to NBA legend Grant Hill & starting a family is evidently the best moments in her life, & this is showcased in Between Friends.
Between Friends is a happy feel-good LP! Can’t Get Enough proves that theory is true with its sexiness & edginess. Her cover of Aretha Franklin’s Daydreamin’ is sassy and urban goodness. Have To Go Through It reunites her with her musical soulmate Eric Benét, & is just magical!
Tamia goes from club bangers, sensual love songs & emotional ballads to get her messages across…& does an amazing job doing so.
Beautiful Surprise – 2012
Highlights: Lose My Mind, It’s Not Fair, Beautiful Surprise, Still Love You, Give Me You.
6 years after the release of Between Friends (Tamia devoted her time to the education of her two children,) Tamia came through with a beautiful surprise. Working with some of my favorite R&B producers Claude Kelly, Salaam Remi, & Chuck Harmony..Beautiful Surprise is a masterpiece filled with theatrical R&B ballads & contemporary R&B bops!
The thrilling It’s Not Fair is a highlight of the album, showcasing Tamia’s beautiful range and emotions through a song. The title track is simply incredible. Enough said. Her cover of Wynonna Judd’s Is It Over Yet has her covering the world of country, which is a beautiful surprise and sounds so refreshing. Tamia impresses me once again with an album that helps me get over a relationship.
Love Life – 2015
Highlights: Sandwich & A Soda, Chaise Lounge, No Lie, Lipstick, Stuck With Me, Black Butterfly, Special.
Tamia’s most recent album to date, Love Life is the best album released in 2015, & was COMPLETELY SNUBBED at the award shows. Being accused of sticking to the same script by critics, Tamia is simply at her best like always on, Love Life. While a lot of people can crossover into other genres, it would not feel right if Tamia released a pop or rock record. Sometimes playing it safe and sticking to what you’re good at is not always a bad thing.
An album for the grown and sexy, you can tell that she made this album for her MAN! It’s a record that makes you feel good about love in so many ways: intimacy, sensual moments and pure happiness. Tamia stated herself that her album was about “loving life and about love lives.”
Tamia wanted this album to not be so deep and dark like her previous efforts, & does a great job at achieving that goal. The “Let’s get down to business” Chaise Lounge, the smoky jazz influenced Sandwich & A Soda & her cover of Deniece Williams’ Black Butterfly are highlights from this LP, and make it simply eventful.
Sandwich & A Soda is my favorite because she sounds so comfortable and free on this track. The song isn’t so literal as it sounds, but it’s basically informing the lover that I have your back in every way possible. We can take care of each other.
Tamia also shines on the lovely “Special,” the sensual “Lipstick,” Stuck With Me, & No Lie. Tamia makes you literally love life, with this one.
Tamia is a legend who shall receive her flowers because for over 20 years, her incredible voice have touched millions of people, & gave us awesome records to get through heartaches, joy and pain. Tamia is an awesome wife and mother, & entertainer. She gave us numerous bops over the years, & I am hopeful that she continues to bless us with the voice we love so much.